Innocence Lost began as a search in a Goodwill store looking for cheap draping material for another project. Buried deep in the drapery bin in the farthest corner of the basement, I discovered the American Girl knock-off who is the subject of my current project. I was struck by the contrasts of her beautifully molded facial features and a genderless body. The physical distortions of her broken arm and disheveled hair further magnified my response. After sharing some preliminary photos, I began to appreciate the power one broken doll can hold on the imaginations of those who encounter her images.
Her name is Anemone. She believes she is a normal girl leading a normal life within a normal body. Factually, she is a discarded, broken, mass produced plastic replica of an unrealistically idealized human woman-child designed for child-play fantasy.
Her name is Anemone. She is my assistant in the exploration of what creates reality and the impact of the disruption caused through variations in the interpretation of its perception. She aids me in investigating how we experience reality by actively manifesting our perceptions. Through creating images of her, I attempt to demonstrate artistically the presence of perceptual filters that can subconsciously drive emotional responses. I hope the images of Anemone create a peculiarly compelling dissonance worthy of re-exploration beyond the first impression.
Michele Manting happily claims the harbor front of Marblehead, Massachusetts as home. She has lived in the deep South, the desert Southwest, Europe and Japan. A poet since childhood, her artistic spirit was nurtured by the breadth of culture, landscape and folk tradition that these diverse locations provided. Strongly influenced through learning a second language as an adult, she marveled that every language has non-translatable constructs such that English speakers experience reality to some degree differently than speakers of, say, Japanese.
Manting is intrigued by the impact of language and culture on both the perception and the physical manifestation of reality. She is drawn to fine art photography as a visually poetic medium that can preemptively bypass the impact of language’s primary influence on perception. In her work, Manting seeks to provoke nonverbal questions that can transport the ordinary toward new meaning and insight.
Manting studied photography at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston and has taken workshops at Mass Art and NESOP.
She has exhibited at The Griffin Museum of Photography during the annual Members Show in 2018, and she recently had three prints selected for an exhibit in celebration of Man Ray and Art in the Public Domain at the Suffolk University School of Law. She currently has a credit on the MFA website where her self-portrait is being used to promote photography classes.
Contact Michele Manting